FIFA Club World Cup betting is underway with the tournament beginning on December 6 in the UAE. Madrid are the favourites to win the Club World Cup but their current season is not going too well. Problems in Spain and also the Champions League means Madrid could struggle in the Club World Cup this month. Still, even if they are out of form you can expect them to reach the final of this competition, which is still to garner the prestige FIFA desires.
How does the World Club Cup work?
There are seven teams competing in the Club World Cup. Madrid, as Champions League winners, represent Europe (UEFA) in the competition. The other sides are Gremio, Urawa Red Diamonds, Wydad Casablanca, Pachuca, Auckland City and Al-Jazira. The highest-ranked sides, Madrid and Gremio, automatically get allocated a semi-final spot at the Club World Cup. Those games will take place on December 13. And it’s up to the other sides to battle it out to reach the last-four.
Al-Jazira and Auckland will compete in a playoff match to determine who will play Urawa in one of the quarter-finals. Pachuca v Wydad is the other quarter-final clash and the winner of that faces Gremio. That means Madrid will play either Al-Jazira, Auckland or Urawa in the semis. And it’s clear which side they would rather not face, for Urawa are the AFC champions and hail from a developing top flight in Japan.
Bet on Madrid
Madrid are favourites to win the Club World Cup and rightly so. They have one of the biggest budgets in world football and are one of the richest clubs on the planet. However, Madrid are currently in a rut. After winning back-to-back Champions League titles and also La Liga last season, Madrid have slumped in 2017/18. While defeats are still not common in the Spanish capital, recent draws against Atl Madrid, Fuenlabrada and Bilbao are of concern.
Injury problems to their attacking unit have further blunted Madrid’s threat levels and clubs are starting to get wise to that. What the club needs is a morale-boosting title triumph and the Club World Cup is the perfect situation for that. Remember, Madrid won this title last year when beating Kashima Antlers 4-2 after extra time in the final in Japan. That was their second triumph, having won the trophy for the first time in 2014.
Al-Jazira vs Auckland betting
The first match of the Club World Cup is Al-Jazira vs Auckland on December 6. And it’s the ‘home’ side that have the upper hand in the betting odds here. Al-Jazira qualified for the Club World Cup as winners of the UAE domestic title in 2017. The host nation always puts forward their home champions to compete with the others from the six continental powerhouses in world football. Al-Jazira won the UAE Pro League by 11 points and will compete in the 2018 AFC Champions League. The majority of their players are from the UAE but they do have some international names, including Frenchman Lassana Diarra, one Uzbek, a Moroccan and a Brazilian. Fancy.
As for Auckland, they arrive having won the OFC Champions League, beating New Zealand rivals Team Wellington in the two-legged final 5-0. Ryan De Vries was their top scorer with four goals in the 2017 OFC Champions League and he could be a decent shout to score first on Wednesday December 6. Still, AL-Jazira are 4/5 favourites to win against Auckland (7/2) and move into the quarter-finals.
Bet on the FIFA Club World Cup